It can be tough to be a kid. I’ve worked with a share of what many would consider the “underserved” population – kids who live miles from the nearest WalMart, without a car, and with much much less than my own kids have. Kids with family issues that leave you shaking your head. Kids with under involved parents. I’ve had more than one make a comment that he made seem like no big deal, maybe about someone who teases him at school. But even the kids with new clothes every season, loving families and all the advantages aren’t always left alone. Bullies go after the unsuspecting for reasons that aren’t even logical, but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less.
I often find myself searching for something comforting to say. I’ve heard it so many times myself that I think I just repeat without thinking- something to the effect of don’t worry about what other people think, or it doesn’t matter what they think. Let it roll off your back, like water off of a duck. The problem is, not only is that nearly impossible to do, it seems extremely invalidating. Nothing makes you feel like your feelings don’t matter than a “don’t worry about it”, even if the person muttering those words meant no harm.
Recently a member of a Facebook group I’m in posed a question (I’m paraphrasing as I don’t want to give anyone away) – are here any cures to care less about what people think?
The truth is, it doesn’t get much easier as an adult. Our brains are better developed to understand the logic behind why someone might throw hurtful words at you, but often times it doesn’t take the sting of them away. The older the twins get, the sooner they will become susceptible to this kind of pettiness and, quite frankly, bullshit. It’s a virtual guarantee they won’t go through life without someone speaking badly of them, weather its to their faces or behind their backs.
One day, surely sooner than I’d like, one of them is going to come up to me crying because some kid said or did something mean to them. I want to be able to validate their sadness, but unfortunately there is no cure. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me? LIES.
I don’t know what to say. This is part of the reason why I run – because it helps me let go of anger and unfairness. I can sweat it off, both literally and figuratively. I can usually think it through.
People just suck sometimes. Words hurt. Kids are mean. Adults are assholes. That is the way the world is. It is ok to feel sad and it is ok to be hurt, but don’t let it take control. Find an outlet. Make a goal. Accomplish something, even if its just to show yourself, and no one else, that you can. Don’t stoop to their level. Strive to be better than that. You’ll do it. You’ll be mean, you’ll be petty, but recognize it and work to change it. Find friends who care. Sticks and stones may break your bones, words CAN hurt you.
Let it hurt, then use them to become stronger.